The chairman of the Colombian House’s Investigation and Accusation Committee has defended the impartiality of the congressmen involved in the investigation against former President Alvaro Uribe, El Espectador reported Tuesday.
Dismissing accusations of subjectivity and partiality, Chairman Hector Vergara stated that there are full guarantees both for those being investigated and any victims of those being processed. He said that, “We have to start putting aside some situations that occurred in the past with the House Investigation and Accusation Committee.”
“The most visible cases of the commission have been developed with absolute normality, diligence and speed…we cannot distrust nor question the capacity and conduct of the commission’s congress members,” he added.
Those who question the commission’s impartiality regarding the investigations into Uribe’s conduct typically focus on the ex-president’s alleged involvement in the Colombian intelligence agency DAS’ wiretapping scandal, in consideration of the fact that after six months not one witness, nor accused, has yet been heard.
The three-person sub-commission with the remit for this particular case has also been rocked by personnel changes, with one member resigning due to a personal friendship with Uribe and another amidst threats “not to mess with Uribe.”
Vergara said that despite attempts to demonstrate the committee’s lack of bias, “When [people] ask me about the guarantees, it remains in the atmosphere that here the investigations may be conducted in a subjective, biased or partial manner.”
Attempting to illustrate the transparency in the committee’s conduct, Vergara contended that “If bias existed or it was a political investigation, then simply three members of the [pro-Uribe Partido de] la U would have been named, but it is not like that.”
The current members of the Uribe investigation committee are Rodolfo Perez of Apertura Liberal, Heriberto Escobar of PIN and the Afrovides Congressman Yahir Acuña.
“We have to give the possibility to the investigators of not being prejudged or unfairly questioned,” Vergara concluded.